Fort Smith, AR—The Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce and the community effort towards transforming workforce development is adding a global twist for the summer. ABB will welcome a group of Swiss apprentices who will spend their summer on assignment at ABB in Fort Smith. The announcement was made in Zurich, Switzerland today between the company and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Fort Smith Chamber officials.
“I am delighted by the strong partnership Arkansas and ABB enjoy. ABB’s global leadership is dependent upon world-class employees, and Arkansas’s commitment to excellence will ensure these apprentices can continue their education among peers. I look forward to having ABB’s apprentices in Arkansas later this year,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson.
In Fort Smith, ABB produces 1.2 million motors annually. As part of their focus, the students will use what they have learned in school in a real-world environment with a new range of products. Highlights will include projects that focus on an area correlating to their studies, whether maintenance, mechanical engineering or automation. They will also complete ‘Six Sigma Green Belt’ certification to support their future careers.
“ABB’s commitment to expanding our workforce training and development efforts cannot be understated,” said Tim Allen, president and CEO of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Of all of the locations they could have chosen for these Swiss students in the apprenticeship program, Fort Smith was at the top of their list. Not only for the Fort Smith ABB facility’s technology and advanced manufacturing background but for all of the quality-of-place amenities the community can offer these international students as well.”
In partnership with UAFS, Fort Smith Public Schools and a host of area businesses, the Fort Smith Chamber has focused on the expanding effort to build a regional infrastructure to develop the talent for a variety of career pathways, including advanced manufacturing, healthcare and information technology jobs.